“How much do you know about the various cultures of students within your school district?
How savvy are you at adapting to various communication styles?”
How do you remedy these issues once you recognize they need to be addressed?
Stan Paz suggests having professional development (PD) to answer these questions and the hundreds more questions that come after attending such PD sessions.
It’s just like educators to say "Let's have a class on it!" But how do we deem who is the "most" culturally competent to lead and teach us? The questions begin even before the class does! I think that those who are interested have good intensions, and so, let us call upon whatever experts we know of to help us get started.
Many schools have ESL staff members who can shed a lot of light on the students in the school since they work with them (in most cases) in small groups or even one-on-one. This provides them with the wonderful opportunity to simply talk to the students and find out from them, what is it that they think their teachers are missing? Not getting? Or don’t understand?
We can use these insights to better understand our shortcomings as educators and then begin to address them.
We can also employ the help of other Board Employees such as Multicultural Co-Coordinators. They are the ones who come in and translate for parents during Kindergarten Orientations. We can have these same people come in and lead the first few sessions of PD for the teachers in the school and address the concerns of the students and then those of the teachers. We can also use them to lead sessions for the parents in the school community so that we are constantly “checking” ourselves and our competency in various ways.